I had a nice moment with the kids the other day. They were telling me about the squirrel that comes to the feeder outside their window at school. They’ve named her Gary-etta. Addie said Gary-etta comes to the feeder to get food for her kids at home. I asked why the dad squirrel, Gary, didn’t come to the feeder. Coop said, “Gary stays home and plays with the baby squirrels.”
Awesome. We’ve completely upturned generations worth of gender stereotypes. Mission accomplished.
When you ask Addie what she wants to be when she grows up, she says, “A mommy. And a doctor. A doctor mommy. I want to do them both.”
Ask Cooper and he says he wants to be a daddy with no career attached. Then he goes on to tell me all the things he’ll do better than me when he’s a daddy. Like this: “When I’m a daddy, I’ll know how to make ginger bread houses.”
Touche Cooper. Touche.
I made the mistake of asking my kids what they thought daddy does for a job. Coop said, “Daddy, your job is to clean up after Murray (the cat) vomits.”
I like to think there’s more to what I do on a day to day basis, but the boy did a pretty good job of summing it up concisely.
Of course, there are some gender-specific characteristics that seem to be ingrained in our children no matter how hard we try to subvert the paradigm. The boy loves to pee on the tree in the front yard…preferably with as many neighbors walking by as possible.
And the girl, well: “Wait daddy. I changed my mind. I want to be a Princess when I grow up. A Princess Doctor Mommy.”
I always thought raising a girl would be exponentially harder than raising a boy, but I didn’t think the difficulties would start until High School. Sadly, the trouble is already brewing. The other day, Addie came into the living room wearing a cape and a mask. I said, “What’s up Bat-Girl?”
She said, “No daddy. I’m Bat-Woman.”
She’s four. Imagine what our conversations will be like when she’s fourteen.